Common Name: Galaxy Pleco
Scientific Name: Leporacanthicus galaxias
Other Names: Vampire Pleco, Tusken Pleco
The Galaxy Pleco is a strikingly patterned species, boasting a dark base color speckled with white or cream-colored spots, resembling a starry night, hence the name “Galaxy”. Its jaw has pronounced, tooth-like odontodes which gives it the nickname “Vampire Pleco”.
Habitat and Distribution:
Native to the Rio Tocantins and Xingu River basins in Brazil, the Galaxy Pleco inhabits fast-flowing waters, often found around rocks and submerged wood.
Size and Lifespan:
Galaxy Plecos can grow up to about 10 inches in length in captivity. They have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years with proper care.
Diet and Behavior:
Primarily carnivorous, the Galaxy Pleco feeds on invertebrates in the wild. In the aquarium, their diet should be composed of high-quality sinking pellets, supplemented with frozen foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp. Additionally, they will appreciate occasional offerings of fresh vegetables. They are nocturnal and might be less active during the daytime.
Breeding and Reproduction:
There are limited documented cases of breeding in captivity. They are cave spawners, so providing hiding spots and caves can encourage breeding behavior.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
Given their natural habitat, Galaxy Plecos thrive in tanks with strong water flow, replicating riverine conditions. A tank of at least 50 gallons is recommended, furnished with plenty of hiding spots, caves, and driftwood. Smooth rocks and fine sand can be used as substrates.
Ideal Tank Mates:
Being relatively peaceful, they can be housed with a variety of tank mates that prefer similar water conditions. However, due to their carnivorous nature, it’s essential to ensure they don’t compete for food with other bottom dwellers.
Intermediate. They need a well-maintained tank with specific water flow and dietary requirements.
• Temperature: 77-86°F (25-30°C)
• pH: 6.0 - 7.6
• General Hardness (GH): 5-15 dGH
• Carbonate Hardness (KH): 6-10 dKH
• Ammonia: 0 ppm
• Nitrite: 0 ppm
• Nitrate: <20 ppm
• Their unique “vampire-like” teeth are utilized to scrape food from surfaces in their native habitat.
• Due to their nocturnal habits, it’s essential to provide ample hiding places for them to rest during the day.
• The Galaxy Pleco’s stunning pattern makes it a sought-after species in the aquarium trade, but potential owners should be well-informed about its requirements.
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